Pregnancy, Delivery, and Beyond – Prenatal Education for Families
Getting ready for a new baby is a fun and exciting time. Catholic Health is happy to provide classes to make this time as easy as possible for you, your family, and your baby.
Register for classes at around 20 weeks (4-5 months). These classes prepare you for the discomforts of late pregnancy, as well as delivery.
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Health Insurance Coverage
Catholic Health hospitals are able to bill your insurance company for many of the classes we provide. Most* insurers, including Medicaid, cover the cost of almost all of our programs. Please contact your insurance provider to verify what coverage they offer.
*PLEASE NOTE: Catholic Health is non-par with United Healthcare Medicaid, Essential, and dual plans. If you are a member of one of these plans, please check the “do not authorize” option and sign where indicated on the class registration form.
In the event that your insurance does not cover all of the cost, you may receive a bill for the outstanding amount. If costs are an issue, please call (716) 601-3600 for additional assistance and payment options.
Two lines on the stick! Now what?
This fun and interactive class gives you a look into how your body is changing, how the baby grows, and how to take care of both of you through this amazing time. Feel free to stay after class for a tour of Labor and Delivery and our Mother Baby Unit and follow-up later in your pregnancy for a prepared childbirth class.
Prepared Childbirth – ACTIVITY
This class covers all the basic topics in our longer classes. Bring one or two people with you and prepare
to laugh and move your way through a fast paced, lecture-free learning experience! Basic Infant CPR and
Car Seat Safety activities are included. (This class can be taken instead of or with the CLASSIC series; it’s also a great refresher for experienced parents!)
Prepared Cesarean Delivery
For parents who know they will be scheduled for a Cesarean Delivery, this class covers what to expect. We cover all the information in our Prepared Childbirth CLASSIC class, but without the labor section!
We also discuss recovery at home, pain control techniques, and answer questions about the surgical delivery. A tour is included.
Dancing for Birth
Dancing For Birth™ is the leading global class for pregnant and new mothers. It’s the “trifecta” of birth preparation: feel-good pre/post natal fitness, essential birth and mothering education, and celebration, all rolled into a weekly class that supports you from preconception to postpartum.
NICU Tour with Q&A for Higher Risk Moms and Babies
If you have been told you are at a higher risk for early delivery or if you have serious medical concerns during your pregnancy,spending an afternoon with us can greatly decrease your concerns or anxiety. Come tour the NICU, get questions answered, and find out what to expect if you deliver early.
Introduce your older child or children to being a big brother or sister. Parents accompany children on a
guided tour of the nursery, view Mom’s room and see new babies through the nursery window. Children explore, with the help of a doll, how newborns are held, fed, diapered, and bathed.
Total class time: 1.5 hours.
It is amazing how much changes! Grandparents are experts in so many areas of child raising, but if you would like a refresher or just a look at what recommendations have changed, please join us. This class covers new infant care, (car seat and sleep safety), supportive care for the new parents, and fun activities to prepare for the arrival of your precious grandchild.
Please fill out a separate registration form for each person taking this class.
Car Seat Safety
Proper car seat use saves lives! Many parents are shocked to find out that car seats are usually used incorrectly. Come to class where we will have both a class portion and a one-on-one car seat fitting with a certified Child Passenger Safety Tech. If you have a car seat, please bring your seat so you can learn how to use it most effectively.
This class is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help other children in need of safe seats!
Ready, Set, Parent! (by EPIC)
EPIC (Every Person Influences Children) will provide positive parenting preparation for pregnant and new parents. In this session you will learn about the three “Terrific T’s” of parenting: Taking Care of Yourself as a Parent; Tuning Into Your Baby’s Needs; and Teachable Tips for Early Brain Development.
Online Childbirth Classes
We offer online classes at our website at chsbuffalo.org/OnlineChildbirth. These classes cover the same topics as our Prepared Childbirth Classic series.
Prepared Childbirth – CLASSIC
Childbirth classes are perfect for any expectant parent who wants to know what will happen in labor and delivery and beyond. Our fun and interactive classes will include tips on making your pregnancy easier, labor and delivery facts, and recovery at home. We will also talk about care for both Mom and baby after you leave the hospital. A tour is included! Please dress comfortably and prepare to have fun while learning.
These classes are geared towards parents who desire additional Lamaze focus for natural childbirth. These classes have four sessions and the fifth is a tour at Sisters Hospital. All other topics covered in our standard Prepared Childbirth Classes are also covered.
The arrival of multiples is amazing!
This class is intended to add to the Prepared Childbirth Class or the Prepared Cesarean Delivery class for parents expecting more than one new arrival. This class will give you more information about what is happening both during your pregnancy and tips from moms who have been there! We tour the NICU during this class, but not Labor and Delivery.
Preparing to Breastfeed
A lactation consultant will review common questions and concerns regarding the first weeks of breastfeeding. A good start makes the first few weeks much easier, so come and prepare with our expert instructors. Both parents are welcome or feel free to come with a friend!
This enjoyable class helps make those first few weeks less stressful!
We discuss care of your newborn, health concerns to watch for, and challenges all new parents face. There is plenty of both discussion time and practice time with our lifelike dolls.
Infant and Child CPR
This class covers what to do in emergencies. Choking, drowning, CPR, use of an AED, and a first aid summary are included. This knowledge can save your child’s life in an emergency!
Please fill out a separate registration form for each person taking this class.
Tours are available for all expectant parents. If you are not attending a class where a tour is already included, please call Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205 to sign up for a tour. Space is limited, so please call at least a month before your due date!
Instruction on diabetes self-care and nutrition is available. Call HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Natural Family Planning
The Catholic FertilityCare™ Center of WNY provides instruction in the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System (CrMS) of Natural Family Planning. When using this system, a woman observes changes in her cervical mucus and menstrual patterns to determine when she is fertile and infertile.
Meet the Instructors
Beth C. CD (DONA)
Beth C. CD(DONA) has been a birth professional for over fifteen years and maintains doula certifications through DONA International, HypnobabiesⓇ & Madriella. She is a certified Dancing For Birth™ Instructor and co-director of WNY Doulas, a local doula collaborative. Beth is an amazing instructor and teaches Dancing For Birth classes, Prepared Childbirth Activity, BabyTalk, and Car Seat Safety. Beth has been married 34 years and has five grown children. Some of her hobbies include gardening, cooking and traveling.
Christina L., MSN, RN, IBCLC, LCCE, CPS-I, C-EFM, DFB
Christina is a Registered Nurse with past experience in Home Health, ICU, NICU, Labor and Delivery, Mother/Baby, and School Nursing. Christina has her Master’s degree in Nursing Education, is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, a Dancing for Birth Instructor, an American Red Cross CPR instructor, a Child Passenger Safety Instructor (car seat tech), and specializes in providing information!
She oversees the educational programs for our expectant parents but really prefers teaching to overseeing, so is usually found teaching a class at Sisters of Charity Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, or Mt.St.Mary’s Hospital. Christina teaches a bit of everything at all locations but loves the interactive classes the most. Learning safety techniques such as First Aid for Choking is so important for any family, she emphasizes that these classes are not JUST for new parents – anyone who cares for children is welcome to come ensure they know how to safely use a car seat, learn CPR, or attend a BabyTalk or Grandparent class.
Christina has a passion for ensuring women are confident in their ability to birth their babies and wants to make sure women have all the tools they need to fuel that confidence. After five births of her own, she knows that birth can be a joyful, vibrant experience and wishes each expectant couple the best in their journey! Please join her for Dancing For Birth(TM) at Mercy or Sisters or see her at our regular Car Seat Check Saturdays.
Rev. David L., CPSI
Rev. David Lewis is a regular volunteer with the WomenCare Prenatal Education program. As an experienced Child Passenger Safety Technician, he helps ensure parents know how to safely use their child’s car seat for the best protection of a newborn or older child. David can be found on Seat Check Saturdays at Mt.St.Mary’s Hospital and then at the Catholic Health Regional Training Center helping parents learn to install and use their seats safely. He can also be found at other events around the community or being superman while caring for his seven children!
Diane M., BSN, RN, CPST, C-EFM , DFB
Diane has taught Lamaze childbirth classes for many years while working in Labor and Delivery. She has seen the results of being fully prepared for the experience of childbirth and encourages expectant families to prepare both mentally and physically for the birth of their baby. Diane teaches the Lamaze focus class at Sisters of Charity Hospital as well as being one of the facilitators at the Activity Childbirth classes. Diane also gives amazing tours of Sisters Hospital where a family can explore the rooms, learn about regular care at Sisters, and become familiar with resources available.
Donna L., BSN, RN, CPST, C-EFM, DFB
Donna is the primary weekend prenatal educator at Sisters of Charity Hospital. She has a varied background in nursing with most recent experience in Labor and Delivery and Mother/Baby nursing. Donna has a background of multiple types of delivery with her own beautiful (but grown up!) children and is able to answer questions and provide reassurance to decrease birth anxiety. She teaches every type of class available with the prenatal education program at Catholic Health!
Gina A. P., IBCLC, RLC
Gina is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), RLC. Gina joined the Maternity team at Mt. St. Mary’s after years working as a private Lactation Specialist. She also worked as an IBCLC for the Women’s Infants and Children’s (WIC) program. Gina became a La Leche League Leader in 1991, volunteering her skills for 22 years, holding monthly meetings, and acting as District Advisor for New York West. She has been passionately advocating on the critical importance of better birth practices, and superiority of human milk in Niagara County since 1993.
She leads the Niagara Frontier Breastfeeding Moms Meetings monthly. Gina teaches the Breastfeeding 101 class at Catholic Health’s Mt. St. Mary’s Campus. She meets with parents privately helping to solve more complex breastfeeding challenges. Gina can be found most days rounding on the Maternity Unit, attending community meetings such as Healthy Babies/Healthy Mothers or receiving donations at MSM Milk Depot.
Gina is the wife to her loving husband of 30 years, the proud mother of three daughters, and Nana to Vivianna and Reilly.
Jeanette K., BSN, RN, C-EFM
Jeanette has experience both with Labor and Delivery and Mother Baby nursing. She still actively works with Moms and Babies and loves to provide information both for new parents and also for older siblings and grandparents. She teaches many of the evening classes at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo as well as some of the weekend offerings.
Keith N., CPST
A longtime volunteer with our Car Seat Program, Keith was a leader in the car seat safety field many years ago and continues to help ensure children are safe in vehicles. Keith assists in the downtown Buffalo Seat Check Saturday classes. Keith is a physical fitness enthusiast and jogs regularly throughout the city. He is a firm believer in the ability of laughter to help heal the body and soul!
Maureen M., RN,BSN
Maureen is a Patient Educator with Catholic Health WomenCare and has taught CPR for over 30 years. Maureen graduated from Sisters of Charity School of Nursing. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a Certificate in Middle Management at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
After working as a Registered Nurse on medical-surgical units at Sisters of Charity Hospital, Maureen worked in the Special Care Nursery for several years before transitioning into education.
Maureen most recently has been involved in community education, educating the public and promoting awareness about heart disease, stroke, different cancers, osteoporosis, the opioid crisis and narcan training and other health issues. She teaches anywhere through Catholic Health and the community.
Maureen is the Mother of five children and Grandmother to 10.
Racquel K., DPT, DFB
Racquel is a physical therapist specializing in Women’s Health and Obstetrics Physical Therapy at Mount St. Mary’s Center for Sports Medicine and Physical Rehabilitation. Racquel graduated from the University at Buffalo where she spent her final residency in pelvic floor rehabilitation. She has spent the last year at Mount St. Mary’s reinstating the Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation program.
Racquel’s passion is in women’s health with a particular interest in seeing women through their pregnancy with as little discomfort as possible. “Movement and education can make such a difference in a woman’s pregnancy. When a mom has the understanding of what is happening in her body and the tools to relieve some of the aches and pains, it is just so empowering.”
Racquel also has a background in fitness, having taught group fitness classes over the years such as Pilates and cardio kickboxing. “While we won’t be doing any kickboxing in this class, it will have the same fun upbeat atmosphere that is so infectious in a group setting.” Tying in to her other experiences, Racquel says she loves to dance. “While I have little formal training in dance, when music comes on I just want to move. I feel a lot of women relate to each other in this way which is what I love about this class. It’s low key, no intricate long dance moves. It’s just a group of women coming together to move, have fun, and learn about their bodies and their babies.”
Racquel is also the sole pelvic floor physical therapist in Niagara County and, together with other pelvic floor PTs within Catholic Health, is working to create a pelvic floor rehabilitation team that offers help to women and men struggling with incontinence, pelvic pain, prolapse, and other pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Sara S., BSN, RN, CPST
Sara has a background in both Labor and Delivery and Mother/Baby nursing. She has several young children of her own and has fought with putting four car seats in the car at once so knows the challenges even experienced parents face with car seat safety! Sara teaches primarily at our Car Seat Safety classes although also has taught many of our Prepared Childbirth classes at Mercy Hospital.
Shannon J. CD (DONA)
Shannon J. CD (DONA) teaches our Activity Childbirth Classes, BabyTalk Classes, Tours, and can be seen at Sisters, Mercy, or even Mt.St.Mary’s. She also teaches classes in the community to provide convenient times and locations for our expectant parents. Shannon has four years of experience with childbirth education, including Lamaze Style classes and Evidence Based Birth classes.
Being a mother of 6, Shannon has learned how valuable it is to have quality education and support during pregnancy and birth. While working with expectant mothers, Shannon noticed many new parents would benefit from additional information to reduce fears and improve their birth experience.
Shannon is also a Certified Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula. Shannon has been a Birth Doula in for 5 years. Shannon became a Doula after supporting and guiding friends through their labors and births of their children. She is also still serving the community as an active doula and founder of Calming Nature Doula Center.
Tammy K., BSN, RN, IBCLC
Tammy is a Registered Nurse with past experience in Pediatrics, Labor and Delivery, Mother/Baby, Home Health and School Nursing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, is an IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and specializes in breastfeeding education. She is a motivated advocator of breastfeeding and gladly shares her knowledge and passion with new and expectant mothers. Her interest in lactation came with the birth of her 3 children and now has over 20 years’ experience helping mothers and infants. Tammy teaches regularly at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.